Spark Grants

What is a Spark Grant?

Sparks are small ($7,500 max) grants intended to spark new ideas and collaborations among Bieler School Jointly Appointed Faculty (JAF), Faculty Lecturers and Bieler School Associate members in one or more of the four Bieler School Research Thematic areas. 

  • human-nature-technology relationships;
  • biodiversity and human interactions with other species;
  • resilience of social-ecological landscapes;
  • the aesthetics, metaphors, science, and politics of addressing climate change

Funding is available for up to four spark grants annually. 

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from teams of JAF, Faculty Lecturers or Bieler Associate members. The intent is to develop projects that create or advance coalitions drawing substantially on the research paths of Bieler JAF or Associates, rather than projects that are simply the extension of a single faculty member’s research program.

How do I apply?

To apply, upload the following materials as a single PDF file. Applications are due on Thursday, November 30, 2023.   

  • A one-page (max) proposal that describes the project to be undertaken and clearly indicates the potential for the grant to spark new collaborations and lead to a paper or larger proposal. It should also clearly state how the plan fits with one or more of the Bieler Core Research themes and how the activities will benefit the applicants and help to advance the School’s mission and positioning. Applicants (and their position/affiliations) should be clearly listed.
  • Anticipated outcomes and products
  • A brief budget describing how funds will be spent


How are proposals reviewed?

Proposals will be reviewed by a Bieler School Committee and Director of the School.

Proposals will be evaluated for their potential to spark new collaborations and lead to new papers or proposals as well as for fit with the Bieler Research Themes.

Assistant Professors and newly-hired faculty will be prioritized.

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